Top Four Seeds Advance to US Lacrosse U15 Semifinals
AURORA, Colo. – The top four seeds, led by No. 1 Duke’s HHH (Pa.), advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 US Lacrosse U15 Boys’ National Championship at the Aurora Sports Park on Tuesday, but it wasn’t always easy.
Duke’s edged out the Long Island Express Barracudas 10-8, For the Love of the Game (N.Y.) nipped Brady’s Bunch 7-5 and Colorado overcame a 5-0 deficit to rally past the Fellowship of Christian Athletes 9-6. The only team cruising was defending national champion 3d Select National, which knocked off the Utah Starzz 15-2.
The championship game at 11 a.m. Mountain time will be streamed live on coachesaid.com/uslacrosse
Colorado’s win has sent them into the semifinals a year after they were bounced in the second round of the tournament.
“We played a year younger last year down in Orlando and it was a great learning experience for us,” said co-coach Tom Mott. “It’s an incredible event to be a part of and for our boys it adds an extra touch of excitement. They’ve waited a whole year to come back and do this again.”
They opened the tournament on Monday in pool play with an 8-7 win over FCA, a two-time champion at the event, but in the quarterfinals, FCA rode a dominant performance from faceoff specialist Steven Cuccurullo to a 5-0 lead late in the first half when Colorado finally got on the board with seven seconds remaining on a goal by Tommy Mott.
“That was big for us,” said the elder Mott. “That was a door opener for us and motivated us for the second half.”
Cuccurullo kept winning faceoffs in the third quarter, but Colorado’s defense did not let FCA capitalize.
“He’s an incredible player,” said Mott. “The only thing you can do there is try to force him backwards. Our gameplan was to try and keep them from creating transition with that.”
Gradually Colorado chipped at the lead before taking a 6-5 lead on Zach Rawling’s goal with 1:34 left in the quarter. Rawlings added two more goals in the fourth quarter and FCA finally ended its 25-minute scoring drought with 1:09 left in the game, but it was too late as third-seeded Colorado posted the 9-6 victory.
Colorado will meet 3d Select National in the semifinals on Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. 3d Select was playing a Utah team that had rallied for a dramatic 10-9 overtime victory over Maverick in the Round of 16. Utah trailed 9-5 in that game with just over five minutes to play, but tied on Talbot Child’s behind the back shot with 12 seconds left and then won it on Andrew Karner’s outside rip in overtime.
Utah hung with 3d Select in the early stages of the quarterfinals, trailing just 2-1 early in the second quarter, but then ran out of gas as 3d exploded for seven goals in the final 5:31 of the second quarter on its way to a 15-2 victory. Jack Schultz led 3d with three goals.
Top-seeded Duke’s is headed back to the semifinals for the second straight year after downing 2012 champion Long Island Express 10-8 in the quarterfinals. Duke’s jumped to a 5-3 first quarter lead with Grayson Sallade scoring all five of Duke’s goals. Sallade added a sixth later in the game to power Duke’s. Long Island trimmed the lead to a single goal on two occasions, but could not score the equalizer.
Duke’s will meet For the Love of the Game, the 2011 champion, which finally got untracked in the final quarter, scoring four times to overcome a 4-3 deficit against Brady’s Bunch to post a 7-5 victory. Christian Kuhn scored the final three goals of the game for FLG, including the go-ahead goal with 2:37 remaining. His insurance goal with 45 seconds sealed the victory.
8 a.m. - Duke’s vs. For the Love of the Game, Field 16
8 a.m. – 3d Select National vs. Colorado, Field 15
11 a.m. – Semifinal winners, Field 17
3rd place game
11 a.m. – Semifinal losers, Field 16
8 a.m. – Long Island Jesters vs. Booth Indians, Field 14
8 a.m. – Maverick Select vs. Patriot, Field 13
11 a.m. – Consolation semifinal winners, Field 15
9:30 a.m. – Special Forces vs. Next Level, Field 14
9:30 a.m. – Santa Monica vs. Sawtooth, Field 13
9:30 a.m. – Long Island Express vs. Brady’s Bunch, Field 16
9:30 a.m. – Utah vs. FCA, Field 15
Dukes HHH d. Special Forces, 18-0
Long Island Express d. Long Island Jesters, 8-2
For the Love of the Game d. Next Level, 13-5
Brady’s Bunch d. Booth Indians, 10-4
3d Select National d. Santa Monica Dragons, 21-0
Utah d. Maverick Select, 10-9 (ot)
Colorado d. Sawtooth, 16-0
FCA d. Patriot, 9-3
Duke’s d. Long Island Express, 10-8
For the Love of the Game d. Brady’s Bunch, 7-5
3d Select National d. Utah, 15-2
Colorado d. FCA, 9-6
Long Island Jesters d. Special Forces, 17-2
Booth Indians d. Next Level, 14-6
Maverick Select d. Santa Monica Dragons, 16-2
Patriot d. Sawtooth, 13-2
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